REGIONAL - More eyes may be watching you as you cruise down the highway if Governor M. Jodi Rell's recent budget presented to the Connecticut General Assembly is approved.
The budget would fund additional traffic enforcement through electronic camera radars and additional State Police officers.
The importance of improving the safety of Connecticut interstates was illustrated when a horrific accident involving a tanker truck, a tractor-trailer and four cars occurred near the I-95, I-395, and Route 1 interchange in East Lyme this past November resulting in three deaths.
After the accident, DOT workers repainted road lines, installed fluorescent yellow signage warning drivers of crossing traffic as well as one-mile and one-half mile warning signs of the reduced 50 mile per hour speed limit.
Jersey barriers are expected to be installed in spring 2008 along that stretch of highway similar to the ones already along I-95 west of the Baldwin Bridge.
Rell wants to ensure that drivers heed those warnings and is proposing a pilot program to catch speeders through electronic camera radar with the installation of cameras in the East Lyme area of I-95.
It is possible that electronic camera radar could be installed on other portions of I-95 as well.
"The speed detection cameras will ticket motorists by mail," Rell said, adding, "We possess the technology to prevent injuries and save lives. It is high time we put that technology to good use."
Rell is also proposing that 100 state troopers be added over the next five years for traffic enforcement and that 20 of those be funded through funds from the fiscal year 2008-09 midterm budget.
"Keeping our highways safe is a quality of life issue," Rell said.
"Many of the major accidents and tragedies we have seen in recent months have been caused by aggressive drivers, distracted drivers, and impaired drivers.
Those who choose to break the rules of the road need to learn the hard way. That requires more manpower and a larger State Police presence on our roadways."
Rell is hopeful that hiring more police officers will force drivers to drive more carefully.
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